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Is virginity the new rock n roll That intriguing question was posed not long ago by no less dignified a publication than the British Medical Journal While virginity isnt exactly igniting most high school and college campuses with the same excitement as say a Saturday afternoon football pep rally a growing number of adolescents are making the choice to postpone their first sexual experience until marriage believing that doing otherwise may be risky business At the same time however about two-thirds of all students still report that theyve had sex before graduating from high school according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Statistics like these have added fuel to the ongoing and sometimes contentious debate over sex-education classes in public schools Specifically parents and educators are taking sides on whether schools should concentrate solely on an abstinence-only message or whether they should also be educating teenagers about contraceptive options and how to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases STDs The Abstinence Movement The landscape of sex education is changing in America In 1988 only 2 of sex education teachers reported that they taught abstinence as the only option for preventing pregnancy and STDs according to a study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute But the focus of many these programs changed during the 1990s and into the current decade and now about 35 of Americas school districts have adopted abstinence-only curricula with another 58 teaching more comprehensive classes -- so-called abstinence-plus programs -- that encourage young people to wait to have sex but if they do become sexually active to use contraception and practice safe sex This is about health says obstetriciangynecologist Patricia Sulak MD a proponent of abstinence-only education and the creator of the Worth the Wait curriculum now being taught in 31 Texas school districts When kids have sex early bad things often happen No birth
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